(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
12/4/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Postdocs,
It is hard to believe that it is still fire season in December, but here we are with the Bond Fire: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-12-04/25-000-still-under-bond-fire-evacuations-as-decreasing-winds-help-slow-blaze
The fire is now 10% contained, and the air quality is much better on campus than yesterday. However, please still be cautious. Between pandemic and fires, it’s best to just stay home hunkered down if you can.
Funding for Continued Studying at Home
One of the things that came out loud and clear from our survey of students is that many of you need some basics to help you make progress on your courses, research, and so on while you are at home, such as printers, office supplies, or even a chair. We have put aside some modest funds to try to support these needs. If your advisor/department has the ability to support such things, we hope they will do so and we have communicated with grad chairs to try to support your needs as best as possible. However, we know not all students study in such environments or have access to these kinds of funds locally. So, you can apply by December 16 for such small funds from Grad Division:
These will depend on demand, are not guaranteed, and will be taxable like other fellowship funds.
Asymptomatic Testing for Grad Students and Post-Docs
Starting December 7, asymptomatic testing will be expanded to a broader range of students and staff, including a variety of essential workers. I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting this kind of testing and advocating for yourselves as well as our staff on campus, so thank you for your patience. I hope this will be good news for you.
- Students who are living off campus but coming to campus for instructional purposes should begin asymptomatic testing.
- Please see this message that you would have received last week if the registrar thinks you are coming to campus for in-person classes: https://uci.edu/coronavirus/messages/201123-covid-testing-for-off-campus-students.php
- Even though most in-person courses have now been moved to online, students who were enrolled should still begin asymptomatic testing. Please do so through the Student Health Portal.
- Both students and post-docs coming to campus for research should also begin asymptomatic testing.
- If you have left campus but maintain a lease on campus, you should tell your department manager, often referred to as an MSO, and you should file an absence form: http://cglink.me/s39479 This form lets us know that you are not here and so are not required to be tested.
What the heck is a “regional stay at home order” and what does it mean to me?
You may have seen that the governor warned that stay at home orders will come if ICU capacity dips below 15%: https://ktla.com/news/california/heres-whats-in-the-new-regional-stay-at-home-order-gov-newsom-announced-for-california/
Orange County, as of this morning, was hovering around 20% ICU capacity. If trends continue, you can probably assume we will hit criteria for the stay at home order. If that happens, a variety of things will close, but essential services will remain open with reduced capacity. These restrictions are similar to those imposed in the Spring.
An interesting article made the rounds last week around indoor activities and just why they are so risky: https://www.fastcompany.com/90580290/one-person-in-the-room-with-you-has-covid-19-heres-how-long-it-takes-to-get-infected
Winter and Spring 21 hybrid
As a reminder, Winter and Spring will likely look much like fall, which means limited research and instruction on campus.
- We are committed as a university to allowing you to attend class remote even if the course winds up being offered in person during these quarters.
- We expect grad classes to be back in person in Fall 21.
- In the meantime, you may break your lease in UCI owned grad and family housing until Dec 31 with no penalty, including Palo Verde, Verano Place, and Campus Village.
- Unfortunately, this does not apply to leases in ACC housing, which is a public-private partnership and not owned by UCI. I apologize for the confusion I created when mentioning lease cancellations last week.
ICYMI: Diary of a Med Student
Two UCI med school students have published Diary of a Med Student - a collection of 100+ stories from students at more than 50 medical schools across the country. All of the proceeds from the book go toward a scholarship fund for incoming and current medical students.
WEBINAR: Achieving Racial Equity in Postsecondary Education: Implications for the Social Sciences | Dec 9
Frank Harris III, Professor of Postsecondary Education and Co-Director of
Community College Equity Assessment Lab, San Diego State University with an introduction by Bill Maurer, Dean, School of Social Sciences, UCI.
Join Frank Harris III, expert in racial [in]equity, in a school-wide workshop where he will consider what the School of Social Sciences can do to achieve racial equity. This workshop unpacks societal and institutional factors that influence belonging, welcomeness to engage, and success for underserved students. Harris will address concerns shared by members of social sciences to propose and discuss institutional actions to serve underrepresented minority students equitably and responsibly.
The webinar is organized by Nidhi Banavar, Karen Arcos, and Jingyi Wu, graduate students in the School of Social Sciences. Pre-registration is required.
A Zoom link will be provided prior to the event for confirmed registrants. For further information or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Election Based Webinars
- Problems of Democracy
December 7 | Noon - 1:30 pm PT
- Special Book Launch Event: Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now
December 10 | 11 am - Noon PT
Last Graduate Division Town Hall of 2020
December 11th | 3 pm - 4 pm PT - Diversity and Inclusion at UCI
- Register at https://uci.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__d7If4MlQQqHlQc83Ug-bQ
- Doug Haynes, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Inclusive Excellence, Professor, School of Humanities
- Roxane Cohen Silver, Associate Director of ADVANCE, Office of Inclusive Excellence, Professor, School of Social Ecology
- Rameen Talesh, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Life & Leadership
- Rodrigo Lazo, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Graduate Division, Professor, Humanities
- Jade Turner, DECADE PLUS Coordinator, Graduate Division
Save the Date: First Graduate Division Town Hall of 2021
Date: January 8, 2021 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Topic: Job Market Success and Survival During COVID-19
Description: Dean Hayes and other UCI leaders will be discussing career options and how to navigate a challenging market across career pathways.
Our new ADs are here to serve and really want to learn more about you and all your experiences, so please come visit them. They will be launching a variety of initiatives over the next couple of years, and your input is essential. And of course, as those of you who have come before know, Gillian just likes to spend time with students.
Monday Dec 7: 4PM - Dean Hayes - https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Tuesday Dec 8: 3PM - AD Rodrigo Lazo - https://zoom.us/j/3555252120?pwd=Nm43MmxzVkZvV2grNmNCZlVidk9pQT09
Wednesday Dec 9: 1PM - Dean Hayes - https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Thursday Dec 10: noon - AD Jaymi Smith - https://uci.zoom.us/j/4520706918
Friday Dec 11: Dean Hayes - 4:15PM https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057 - this follows the town hall scheduled to end at 4, so if you have anything else you want to talk about, you can just roll over there.
We are all struggling with pandemic fatigue and frustration with the world, and many of us are just wishing we could fast forward the world to a better time. For me, I had the joys of knocking over a full cup of coffee on to my computer today. Anyone have any good adult sippy cup/travel mug recommendations?
On behalf of all of Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division